Robert Winn, M.D.
Robert Winn, M.D. (Allen Jones, University Marketing)

‘Dream team’: How a new grant will help Massey Cancer Center tackle racial inequities in lung cancer

Massey director Robert Winn explains how a $3 million National Cancer Institute grant will bring together scientists and the community to combat the disproportionate effects of lung cancer on Black Americans.

Share this story

The National Cancer Institute on Sept. 22 announced that Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center has won a highly competitive SPORE grant — the first ever awarded in Virginia — which will fund work to address the disproportionate effects of lung cancer on the Black community and help move research findings quickly from the laboratory to patients.

The funding will establish a center called the Translational Research Center in Lung Cancer Disparities led by Massey and run in collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center and City of Hope in California. The center will also engage a host of community groups across all three states, including local health departments, community health centers, marginalized populations, civic activists, educational institutions, faith-based groups and cancer survivors.

“It’s important that the community has a seat at the table,” said principal investigator Robert Winn, M.D., director and Lipman Chair in Oncology at Massey Cancer Center. “We’re optimistic that this dream team of researchers and community stakeholders will translate our basic science into clinical impact in reducing lung cancer disparities.”

Winn, the senior associate dean for cancer innovation and a professor of pulmonary disease and critical care medicine at the VCU School of Medicine, further explains the importance of the grant and the work it will fund in this Massey Cancer Center video.

Robert Winn Explains Massey's New Lung Cancer SPORE grant